California ballot propositions

City Council members are often asked to provide input on new and proposed state legislation, most often in the form of a council resolution. These requests usually come from third parties, including the League of California Cities, but elections provide another opportunity to weigh in. Here’s a quick recap of California ballot propositions and my personal take on them.

Prop.SummaryPositionComments
14Authorizes $5.5 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund grants for stem cell research and other medical research.YESBuilds upon voters’ previous support for California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
15Increases funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local governments by requiring that commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value.YESProtects homeowners while relieving the severe strain on state and local funding created by Proposition 13.
16Constitutional amendment to repeal Prop. 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative (1996), and to allow the use of race- and gender-conscious policies to build diversity in schools and workplaces.NODisadvantaged people and communities deserve help, but affirmative-action programs and quotas aren’t the answer.
17Constitutional amendment to allow convicted felons to vote while they are on parole after completing their sentence.YESReduces paperwork, incentivizes good citizenship.
18Would allow a 17-year-old to vote in any primary or special election before a general election where the voter will be 18+.YESEncourages youth voting.
19Adds property tax protection for victims of fire and natural disasters. Creates new California Fire Response Fund and County Revenue Protection Fund in state treasury.NOSome good ideas in here, but the full impact of the moving parts is hard to calculate.
20Restricts parole for certain non-violent offenders. Authorizes felony sentences for certain misdemeanor offenses.NOAmong many other concerns, big uptick in DNA collection for misdemeanor arrests.
21Amends state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old.NOGood intentions, but poorly drafted and very likely to ignite public-private litigation.
22Employment classification of Uber and Lyft drivers.NOThis industry-backed initiative rewards wealthy companies more than drivers.
23Sets medical staffing standards for chronic dialysis clinics.YESEnsure clinics are staffed by doctors. Put patient safety before corporate profits.
24Amends consumer privacy laws to limit the use of “sensitive personal information.”NOThis convoluted initiative could weaken California’s robust online privacy laws.
25Referendum on 2018 law ending California’s bail bond system.YESBroken money bail system was rightly replaced by the Legislature with court-supervised risk-assessment programs.